|Subregion||U.S.A. > California > Napa Valley|
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Blackberry and black chocolate with mint, conifer and clove. Sweet tobacco, violets and flowers, too. Some graphite. Cool and complex. Full-bodied with ultra fine, dusty tannins and a wonderful, extremely long finish. Savory and refined. A classic-styled 2018. This needs time, but is so approachable and gorgeous. One of the best Insignias ever. Alive and changing all the time. 40% Stags Leap AVA. 87% cabernet sauvignon, 8% petit verdot, 3% malbec and 2% cabernet franc. Leave this for five or six years, but so wonderful now.
The 2018 Insignia is a blend of 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec and 2% Cabernet Franc. The vineyard sources this year include: 30% Las Rocas (Stags Leap District),18% Yountville (Oak Knoll District), 13% Banca Dorada (Rutherford), 18% Suscol (South Napa Valley), 14% Home Ranch (St. Helena), 12% Las Rocas (Stags Leap District), 7% Barboza (Stags Leap District). It was aged for 24 months in 100% new French oak barrels.
Deep garnet-purple colored, it comes storming out of the glass with powerful notes of blackcurrant cordial, stewed black plums and boysenberries, plus hints of cedar chest, graphite, menthol and wet slate with a fragrant waft of clove oil. The medium to full-bodied palate already demonstrates remarkable balance at this youthful stage, featuring a firm backbone of fine-grained tannins and bold freshness to support the tightly wound, crunchy black fruits, finishing long and spicy. 17,000 cases were made.
Joseph Phelps is practically the inventor of the Bordeaux blend in California, and the team has done a wonderful job with the Insignia in 2018. Clarice Turner, who began as a trainee 23 years ago and is now head of winemaking and director, knows exactly how to get both juice, tension and power out of Cabernet Sauvignon, while still maintaining nuance. A ton of interest and spice. Great persistence through the palate, soft black pepper, rosebud and oyster shell on the finish adds a fragrant, saline twist. I am always a fan of this wine, and love that it showcases the history and quality of Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa.